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15 Eco-friendly and Tree-Free Alternatives for Christmas Cards 2021


Blank card paper and envelope laying in a wooden table next to a branch of leaves

15 types of sustainable or tree-free Christmas cards that will blow your mind and change your habits this year!

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When we think of Christmas time we probably have many things in mind: Christmas trees, Santa gifts, glitter decoration, a meaty dinner, glowy makeup and Christmas greeting cards. Unfortunately, all these elements, aka all our Christmas traditions, have one thing in common and that’s how badly they all harm our planet. Plastic waste and water pollution, CO2 emissions from transportation, animal testing, unethical working conditions, are only a few examples that can give us a general overview of the problem. Despite our very pernicious traditions during holidays, Moincoins is always here to spread some positive vibes.

There’s evidence that people have already started looking for alternative ways to celebrate Christmas since the environmental crisis is knocking out our doors every day. According to Google Trends “sustainable Christmas” searches are up 117% over the past five years! This is an important sign that we are ready to make small swaps on our festive habits or even quit some Christmas activities that make us contribute to the planet's disaster. Small steps every time will drive us to a more sustainable future, so this year we can begin our journey from replacing pure plastic and tree-based Christmas cards with more eco-friendly alternatives.

Traditionally, fiber for paper comes from the wood of trees. That means that billions of cubic feet of trees are deforested every year to produce paper.


Paper Production Counter, The World Counts

When forests are cleared or burned, carbon is released into the atmosphere, mainly as carbon dioxide. It is estimated that between 2015-2017, the global loss of tropical forests contributed about 4.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year (or about 8-10% of annual human emissions of carbon dioxide). Considering that approximately 1.3 billion cards are sent in the U.S. every year, it’s important not to contribute to the ecological cost and petrol usage of making and sending paper cards and think of more sustainable ways to keep this tradition alive.

In this blog post, you’ll discover 15 different types of sustainable or non-tree-based paper to purchase or use for your Christmas cards. Our unconventional product suggestions aim to support eco-friendly brands that are putting real effort to make a change. Ready to start? 

In this article:

  1. Christmas Cards Made of 100% Recycled Paper
  2. Christmas Cards Made of 100% Post-Consumer Recycled Paper
  3. Christmas Cards Made of FSC Certified Paper
  4. Christmas Cards Made of Chlorine-Free Paper
  5. Christmas Cards Made of Wheat Straw Paper
  6. Christmas Cards Made of Seed Paper
  7. Christmas Cards Made of Hemp Paper
  8. Christmas Cards Made of Coffee Chaff Paper
  9. Christmas Cards Made of Banana Paper
  10. Christmas Cards Made of Bamboo Paper
  11. Christmas Cards Made of Handmade Cotton Paper
  12. Christmas Cards Made of Elephant Poo Paper
  13. Christmas Cards Made of Mango Paper
  14. Digital Cards
  15. Handcrafted by Local Artisans
  16. The 5 Things to Check When Purchasing a Christmas Card
  17. Frequently Asked Questions About Holiday Cards

15 Eco-friendly or Tree-Free Alternatives for Christmas Cards 2021

Christmas Cards Made of 100% Recycled Paper

Merry Merry Greeting Card

Christmas card made of 100% recycled paper
Christmas Card from EcoVibe

Product ethics | Made of 100% recycled paper 
Key features | Illustrated Christmas card, made of recycled paper, with print “Merry, Merry”
Card size | 4.25" x 5.50"
Price | $5.00
Brand ethics | Hand-picked and eco-mindful options, 1% for the Planet Member
About EcoVibe | Established in 2010, EcoVibe began as a fashion boutique but has quickly evolved to become an online store for home décor, plants, kitchenware, accessories, gifts and more. All products are hand-selected based on their sustainable and aesthetic values, giving a full spectrum of eco-friendly choices for you, your home or the people you love. It also donates 1% of the online sales to 1% For The Planet non-profit organization.
Customer reviews | "Excellent service and high-quality products. I will continue to purchase these eco-friendly products” - K. from Trustpilot 

Shop now at EcoVibe

How Is Paper Recycled?

The recycling life of a paper begins in the blue bin and continues in the recycling center. All the irrelevant contaminants such as plastic or glass are removed and tons of paper are being sorted and stored into different containers. The sorted paper will be transferred to the mill, where big pulper machines are shredding the paper into small pieces. With the contribution of water, chemicals and heat, the mixture is turned into fibers. Later on, it is pressed through a screen and cleaned, removing the inks. Through this process the paper will take its shape, bonding the fibers together. The final stage is drying the paper with heated metal rollers, which will create a brand new paper product.

Are Christmas Cards Recyclable?

Most Christmas cards are paper-based and they can be recycled together with their envelopes unless they have foil or glitter on them. You can choose your closest local recycling points or collect them in your household before driving them to the blue bin.

Can Christmas Cards With Glitter Be Recycled?

Besides the fact that it sticks to everything, glitter also makes greeting cards non-recyclable because it usually contains tiny pieces of plastic bonded with aluminum. Think twice before putting glitter all over during Christmas, because no matter if it’s on our Christmas cards, make-up, hair spray, nail polish or party outfits, there’s always a dark side behind the spark.

Christmas Cards Made of 100% Post-consumer Recycled Paper

Joy Fun Christmas Photo Cards

Christmas card made of 100% post consumer recycled paper
Christmas card from Minted

Product ethics | Made of 100% post-consumer waste paper, FSC certified, quilled technique
Key features | This is a fully customizable Christmas card, created by Minted's global community of independent designers. It is made of the dual-texture Smooth Signature Paper from 100% post-consumer waste
Card size | 4.25" x 6.00"
Price | $58.00
Brand ethics | Plant-based or sustainably-sourced materials, FSC certified, carbon-neutral, manufactured with wind power. transitioning to 100% recyclable and compostable packaging
About Minted | Minted is a community of independent artists and designers located in all 50 states and over 100 countries. It mostly uses 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper that is thick, smooth, matte-finished and manufactured with wind power. It also offers options for non-tree based paper, FSC certified paper or plant-based paper. 
Customer reviews  | “Every year I purchase our holiday cards through Minted. I love their design selection, the terrific, substantial quality of the paper, the beautiful photograph printing, the whimsical and/or elegant envelope-addressing designs, the fantastic customer service which tweaks my additions to make them look perfect, and the very (VERY) speedy turnaround.” - U. from Trustpilot

Shop now at Minted

What Does PCF Stand For?

PCF stands for post-consumer fiber and indicates that the product is entirely produced by using old paper material that has been thrown away and recycled after someone has used it.

What Is Post-consumer Recycled Fiber?

“Post-consumer material is paper, paperboard and fibrous wastes from retail stores, office buildings, homes and so forth after they have passed through their end-usage as a consumer item, including used corrugated boxes, old newspapers, old magazines, mixed waste paper, tabulating cards and used cordage; and all paper, paperboard and fibrous wastes that enter and are collected from municipal solid waste” - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

What’s the Difference Between Recycled Paper vs Post-consumer Recycled Paper?

Recycled paper doesn’t necessarily mean that the paper was made out of other people’s discarded material. That’s why we have to distinguish pre-consumer and post-consumer paper. Pre-consumer material means that it was discarded during manufacturing before it was ready for consumer use. On the other hand, post-consumer waste is a material discarded after someone used it. It’s important to know that paper products bearing the recycled symbol may also contain pre-consumer waste, that’s why it’s always better to look for paper made from (ideally 100%) post-consumer recycled paper.

Christmas Cards Made of FSC Certified Paper

Stamp Out Personalized Christmas Card

Christmas card made of FSC certified paper
Christmas card from Paper Culture

Product ethics | Made of FSC certified paper from 100% post-consumer recycled paper, produced with wind power
Key features | A Christmas card which you can easily personalize to give it a more personal touch. Paper Culture offers free designer assistance, to help you with color and layout changes, any logo placement, photo editing and more. The back side gives you the chance to share your favorite quote or craft the ideal holiday message. Both cards and white envelopes are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper
Card size | Square cards 5.1" - flat
Price | Starting from $15.95
Brand ethics | 100% post-consumer recycled paper products, Green Business, planting trees, partnering with CarbonFund.org
About Paper Culture | Paper Culture is a company selling products made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper and other eco-friendly materials. It offsets 100% of the carbon footprint of the production and it’s officially recognized by the EPA as a Top 10 Climate Leader, certified as a Green Business.
Customer reviews | “Paper Culture is AMAZING and I'm thrilled I found them. I had wanted somewhat custom invitations for my wedding and their free designer assistance was perfect! And it's no extra cost! Communication was incredibly fast with their team and I was able to make a few small changes to one of their templates to customize my invitation perfectly!” - C. from The Knot 

Shop now at Paper Culture

What Does FSC Stand For?

FSC means “Forest Stewardship Council”. Forest Stewardship Council is an international nonprofit organization, responsible for the world’s forestry management, ensuring and certifying high standards for the natural conditions of the forests. When buying products with the FSC logo, you can be sure that the trees that are harvested are replaced or allowed to regenerate naturally and that the rights of indigenous people are protected.

Which Are the Three FSC Labels?

There are three different FSC labels.

  • FSC 100% used for products made from 100% virgin materials. In this case, you can be confident that the product didn’t harm the world’s forests on its production level.
  • FSC RECYCLED is for verified products made from 100% recycled content (either post-consumer or pre-consumer reclaimed materials).
  • FSC MIX stands for a mixture of materials from FSC certified forests, other recycled materials, and/or FSC controlled wood.

Christmas Cards Made of Chlorine-Free Paper

Holiday Floral Greeting Card Set

Holiday card made of Chlorine free paper
Holiday Card from Ayapaper

Product ethics | Made of PCF Chlorine Free paper, 100% post-consumer recycled paper, 100% recycled envelopes delivered in paper box, non-toxic toners
Key features | The Holiday Floral Card Set gives a minimal and earthy vibe to our typical holiday cards. The pack consists of 4 cards, with print “Happy Holidays”, which are made of 100% post-consumer recycled paper and free from chlorine chemicals that harm the environment
Card size | A6 sized cards
Price | $15.00
Brand ethics | Woman-owned, eco-friendly packaging
About Ayapaper | Aya Paper Co. is a sustainable stationery brand, created in 2019, offering truly inspiring greeting cards and gifts. Since launching in July 2019 it is selling paper products made with 100% recycled materials in neutral earth tones, minimalist illustrations and modern typography.

Shop now at Ayapaper

What Does PCF Stand For?

The “PCF” stands for “Processed Chlorine Free” and means that no chlorine or its derivatives were used in the production or recycling process.

Why Is Chlorine in Paper Bad?

Chlorine or other chlorine compounds are widely used for whitening the paper but this substance is also responsible for water pollution and discharge of dioxin, which is a potent cancer-causing gas. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on PCF labels when buying a paper product or card because recycled paper doesn't necessarily guarantee that it’s also chlorine-free.

Christmas Cards Made of Wheat Straw Paper

Song Season Holiday Greeting Card

Greeting card and envelope made of wheat straw
Christmas card from Tree-free Greetings

Product ethics | Envelope is made from 100% wheat straw, card is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper
Key features | Recycled paper greeting card from Tree-Free Greetings. This card is made in the U.S., it features a cute caroling reindeer and it’s a perfectly sweet way to share your greetings. Each 10 pack card set is printed with solar power and processed without chlorine
Card size | 5.00″ x 7.00″ 
Price | $14.99
Brand ethics | Recyclable materials, renewable energy use, donations, Certified B Corp
About EarthHero | EarthHero is an eco-friendly marketplace, offering a huge variety of brands that are really putting effort into making online shopping more sustainable. The brand is collaborating with Tree-Free Greetings, a company that has been offering amazing eco-friendly alternatives to conventional greeting cards over the last 18 years.
Customer reviews | “Quick shipping, friendly customer service, and great product selection!”- B. from Trustpilot

Shop now at EarthHero

What Is Wheat Straw?

Wheat straw is considered one of the best zero-waste alternatives to plastic. Wheat is a type of grain mostly used to make bread, flour and pasta. The straw itself is the outcome of the wheat harvest. The byproduct it creates contains lignin, which is usually mixed with sugar to make a plastic-like biodegradable substance.

Why Is Wheat Straw Better Than Plastic?

Wheat straw is perfect to replace plastic food containers, drinking straws, plastic plates and cups but it’s also ideal to create a paper-like substance. While it may take over 450 years for a plastic bottle to decompose, wheat straw is entirely biodegradable (decomposing time is up to 6 months) and therefore it's considered one of the best alternatives to plastic.

Christmas Cards Made of Seed Paper

Happy Holidays Plantable Card

Holiday card made of seed plantable paper
Holiday Greeting Card from Forever Fiances

Product ethics | Premium handmade seed paper which will bloom into wildflowers once planted
Key features | Premium handmade seeded paper, embedded with wildflower seeds is maybe the greenest paper in the world since it’s 100% biodegradable. All you need to do is wrap the card in a moist towel and place it in a window so the sun helps the seeds to grow for the next 2 weeks. Then you place the moist paper into a pot with soil and you water it on a weekly basis, waiting for the wildflowers to pop up
Card size | 5.50″ x 4.25″
Price | Price varies
Brand ethics | Biodegradable or 100% recycled paper, Green Business print stationery, donations
About Forever Fiances | If you are looking for the most sustainable greeting cards, this is the ultimate store to shop from. Forever Fiances has over 770 exclusive designs, all printed on 100% recycled or biodegradable papers. This brand also puts an effort into reducing CO2 emission through green technologies and innovative printing methods and donates 1% of its revenues to several nonprofit organizations that support environmental causes.
Customer reviews | “Forever Fiances was one of the best vendors to work with! Their idea (plantable and recyclable paper is why we picked them in the first place, and we would pick them all over again. They were VERY prompt with proofs, had beautiful options, and always very quick to answer emails. They were very nice and delivered exactly what we wanted. I HIGHLY recommend them!”- J. from Weddingwire

Shop now at ForeverFiances

What Is Plantable Paper?

Plantable paper is one of the latest eco-friendly paper categories. Most of them are made from post-consumer materials and are embedded with different kinds of seeds (like flower seeds, herbs or other vegetable seeds), which makes them plantable in pots of soil or in the garden. The paper germinates and grows into beautiful plants without leaving any trash behind.

How Do You Plant Plantable Paper?

After receiving and reading your card you have to fill the ⅔ of a pot with good potting soil. Take your plantable paper and cover it with the soil that is in the pot. Don’t mind if the paper overlaps, just gently tamp it down. Soak it, but make sure you don’t overwater it. The first 10 days are the most important to keep your paper moisturized to boost the germination process. Once sprouts appear, keep watering it wisely and watch it grow and turn into a beautiful flower. The paper can be planted both indoors or outside, depending on your temperature conditions.

3 steps about how to plant paper into soil
Three steps how to plant seed paper

How to Make DIY Plantable Paper?

Did you know that you can make your own DIY plantable paper? Start by collecting a large pile of recyclable paper, including newspaper, egg cartons or paper grocery bags. Shred it into very small pieces and blend it in. Put the mix in a jar and pour some warm water until it turns into a smooth pulp (a blender at a low speed for about ten seconds will make it easier). Add about a teaspoon of flower seeds into the mixture and stir them in without blending anymore. Pour the pulp into a strainer and remove as much water as possible. Lay out a piece of a microfiber towel, dump the pulp and make it as thin and flat as possible and let it dry. Once both sides are dry, your DIY seed paper is ready for use.


How to make Paper, YouTube video

Christmas Cards Made of Hemp Paper

Hemp Holiday Cards (8 Pack)

4 Christmas cards made of hemp paper
Christmas Cards from Rawganique

Product ethics | Handmade in the USA of 25% North-American hemp and 75% post-consumer recycled ingredients
Key features | This hemp paper holiday card pack is ideal for those who are enthusiasts with all the hemp-related products or are interested in being more eco-conscious buyers for Christmas. This product is chemicals, dyes or additives- free and it doesn’t contain chlorine
Card size | 4.50" x 6.00"
Price | $15.00
Brand ethics | Organic, handcrafted, cruelty-free
About Rawganique | Rawganique was founded in 1997 and it specializes in organic cotton, linen and hemp clothing, bed, bath and gift products. It produces over 1000 awesome unique organic products, which are never tested on animals, following the highest environmental and quality standards.
Customer reviews | “Love how they look and feel, just sad they came in plastic sleeves.” - A. from Rawganique product review

Shop now at Rawganique

What Is Hemp Paper?

Paper produced entirely or mostly from the fibers of the hemp plant is called hemp paper and it’s a radical response to the problem of deforestation. Hemp paper is mostly used in the production of specialty paper such as cigarette paper or cosmetic tissue paper but there are already a few companies in the North America and Europe that are experimenting with producing writing paper from hemp.

Fibers cultivated from hemp plants are considered as one of the strongest plant fibers. According to hempfoundation.net, hemp paper is significantly more durable than paper produced from wood, since it doesn’t easily yellow or crack and this way it becomes a brilliant swap to the regular paper.

Does Hemp Paper Have Psychotropic Effects?

THC presence is limited to only 0.3% or less in hemp, which means that it doesn’t have any psychotropic effects.

Christmas Cards Made of Coffee Chaff Paper

PaperEvolution® Handmade Sheet

Coffee bean chaff paper sheet
Paper from Green Field Paper Company

Product ethics | Made of 100% recycled fibers with the chaff of roasted coffee beans from an independent coffee store in San Diego
Key features | This product is not a Christmas card but an eco-friendly and tree-free paper that you can DIY! It is made of coffee chaff, which is the dried skin on a coffee bean after the roasting process. Just be creative, give it a personal touch by coloring it, write something sweet and send it to the people you love
Card size | 8.50″ x 11.00″
Price | $19.95
Brand ethics | Tree-free products, PaperEvolution®
About Green Field Paper Company | Green Field Paper Company, based in San Diego, was created in 1992 to offer fine quality and tree-free paper alternatives. It is now one of the largest handmade paper companies in North America that has made a great commitment to offset carbon emissions, starting from the company-wide electricity. It re-pulps all of the paper cuttings or uses them for packaging materials and donates usable scrap paper to local schools and organizations.
Customer reviews | “Great products, great service.  Picked out card stock that is manufactured with recycled products embedded with wildflower seeds. The card stock looks great and will make very special invitations.”- D. from Yelp

Shop now at Green Field Paper Company

How To Make You Own DIY Christmas Cards This Year

There are many ways you can turn a single piece of paper into a colorful and very Christmassy card.


34 DIY Holiday Cards For Your Loved Ones, YouTube video

Christmas Cards Made of Banana Paper

Banana Paper Sample Packs

Card and envelope made of banana paper
Greeting Card and Envelope from Green Banana Paper

Product ethics | Banana fibers and mixed recycled banana paper
Key features | Premium thick and thin paper pack made from pure golden banana fibers sourced directly from local farmers and mixed recycled banana paper. The fibers were extracted by hand and processed without the use of harmful chemicals in ethical working conditions. Let your creativity go wild and transform these plant-based blank papers into holiday greeting cards
Card size | A1 / A4 / A5 / A7
Price | $30.00
Brand ethics | Ethical, handmade paper, biodegradable, PETA-approved, vegan
About Green Banana Paper | Green Banana Paper is selling products that are ethically manufactured from recycled banana trunks, which grow naturally in Kosrae, Micronesia. Its product range includes wallets, business cards, regular banana paper and other gifts.
Customer reviews | “I wanted to use some paper to write thank you notes when I sell my merchandise, so it’s nice to have something great for the environment to use.” - Customer review at Green Banana Paper

Shop now at Green Banana Paper

What Is Banana Paper?

We all know that bananas are delicious but what happens with the rest of the banana tree? Banana trees are cut down after producing fruits, which happens only one time per year. After that, the leaves can go for organic composting and the tree trunk can be used to make paper. Natural banana plant fibers create a very durable and water-resistant paper that can be found in different colors and sizes.

Christmas Cards Made of Bamboo Paper

Christmas Reindeer Christmas Card

Christmas card made of bamboo wood
Christmas Card from Heart Space Cards

Product ethics | Bamboo wood
Key features | Send your warmest holiday wishes with this Santa’s leaping reindeer that is laser cut into real bamboo wood. The text “Merry Christmas” is finely etched into the wood but you can always provide a custom handwritten message
Card size | 4.50″ x 6.00″
Price | $12.99
Brand ethics | Handmade, bamboo products
About Heart Space Cards | Heart Space Cards was founded in 2017 to design individual art pieces that are meant to last for a long time. Its extended collection of greeting cards will give you a wide spectrum of cards to choose from and you can always customize them according to your needs and likings.
Customer reviews | “I love how you can automatically tell it's handmade! Real bamboo! It's not as big as expected but the quality is well worth it with the size.”- S. from Amazon

Shop now at Heart Space Cards

Why Is Bamboo Better Than Wood-Based Paper?

Compared with wood, bamboo has a way shorter growth cycle (3 to 5 years), self-reproduction and significantly lower cost in regeneration. At the same time, bamboo fibers are pretty similar to hardwood fibers in several characteristics, which makes it a perfect raw material for papermaking to eliminate the deficiency of wood resources. What’s more, bamboo provides job positions and development in economically depressed countries where unemployment is significantly high.

Christmas Cards Made of Handmade Cotton Paper

Bespoke Indigo & Cotton Greeting Card

Handmade paper cotton card with plant-based dye
Greeting Card from Paper Anansi

Product ethics | Handmade cotton paper, plant-based Indigo dye
Key features | Greeting card made of cotton paper and dyed with Indigo. Indigo dye is a plant-based all-natural coloring that’s found in the family of bean plants known also as Indigofera Tinctoria
Card size | 5.00″ x 7.00″
Price | $25.00
Brand ethics | Handmade, local business
About Paper Anansi | From bridal gifts and paper flowers to handmade luxury decor, Anansi has been handcrafting small art pieces since 2008. It’s a nice choice if you want to support small, local businesses that are trying to pitch in a more sustainable shopping world.
Customer reviews | “Mia's paper goods are individually handcrafted with a painstaking attention to detail. Her designs are bold and stylish and full of whimsy. I have purchased several ready-made and custom-order pieces and I am always thrilled with the quality of her work and her charming customer service.”- S. from Etsy

Shop now at Paper Anansi

Christmas Cards Made of Elephant Poo Paper

POOPOOPAPER Holiday Card

Christmas card made of elephant poo paper
Christmas Card from Poopoo Paper

Product ethics | Elephant-poop based paper, 100% tree-free, sustainable and chemical-free
Key features | This holiday card is crafted from different colored papers, using an intricate handmade die-cut that creates an elephant pattern! Both the card and the envelope are made from poop-based paper
Card size | 7.00" x 5.00"
Price | $45.00
Brand ethics | Handcrafted, tree-free, eco-friendly, chemical-free, donations to welfare and conservation of elephants
About Poopoo Paper | The Poopoo Paper company was created in 2005 in order to take a material in abundance (elephant poo) and turn it into functional and completely useful paper products and save trees. You can shop for many different sustainable and recycled kinds of paper made of elephant, donkey, cow, or horse poo. What a really interesting concept!
Customer reviews | “The paper does not have any odor at all. It's completely clean and awesome. The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company is wonderful and their ingenious idea is right on the money. This would definitely be a perfect gift for anyone who is environmentally friendly, into elephants, or just into unique, cool stuff.”- Customer review from Leafygreen

Shop now at Poopoo Paper

How is Poopoo Paper Made?

While pretty much all papers everywhere are made from a pulp mixture derived from fiber materials, using wood from cut trees, Poopoo Paper goes tree-free! Its paper is made from stool fibers produced by elephants, cows, horses, donkeys, buffalos, along with other animal and plant waste materials. That makes it one of the most sustainable and chemical-free paper options you can choose.

Poop to paper process graphic
Poopoo Papermaking Process, Poopoo Paper

Christmas Cards Made of Mango Paper

Mango Paper - BRICK

Mango and Kozo paper
Plant-based Paper from Mullberry Paper

Product ethics | Kozo and mango leaf-based paper
Key features | Mango paper is a natural, eco-friendly alternative to ordinary craft paper. It is a recycled paper that helps to prevent excess forest and river pollution and is made from the mango tree together with kozo pulp base
Card size | 8.50" x 11.00"
Price | $0.75
Brand ethics | Family-owned local business, recycled and plant-based paper
About Mullberry Paper | This family-owned company was founded in 2007 to create beautiful and thoughtfully made papers in different appliances, including wedding invitations, stationery, multi-media artwork, framing, note cards and more. Mulberry Paper is inviting us to join the family and explore the most unconventional product ideas for a more sustainable world.

Shop now at Mullberry Paper

What Is Mango Paper?

Mango paper is another natural and eco-friendly alternative to regular paper. It helps to prevent deforestation and nature pollution by utilizing large amounts of fallen leaves and tree fibers to create beautiful lightweight papers. The natural pigment of mango leaves gives a special color to the final product.

Digital Cards

Merry and Bright Pink Digital Card

Digital Christmas card from Paperless post
Digital Christmas Card from Paperless Post

Product ethics | Digital cards with customizable templates and immediate delivery
Key features | You can sign in to customize the card according to your likings by changing the text, style, envelope or backdrop. Then you simply have to add your details, import a recipients’ list and send your wishes paperless with just a click
Card size | Digital format
Price | Starting from $10.00
Brand ethics | Using technology to reduce paper waste, CO2 emission-friendly
About Paperless Post | We can now take advantage of technologies and expressive designs to celebrate Christmas without wasting any trees. From illustrated cards to customizable photo albums you can use Paperless Post to send your Christmas greetings.
Customer reviews | “I would suggest Paperless Post for any invites. It’s easy for guests to access at all times in their email instead of trying to keep track of a piece of paper. It doesn’t end up in the landfill and they are pretty!! Very affordable as well!”- M. from Weddingwire

Shop now at Paperless Post

Handcrafted by Local Artisans

Quilled Paper Evergreen Card

Handmade quilled paper Christmas card
Christmas card from Ten Thousand Villages

Product ethics | Handmade in Vietnam, quilled paper
Key features | Quilling is a handicraft that uses paper stripes rolled up to form a variety of basic shapes. Some people manage to make absolute masterpieces by using old paper that would have been thrown in the bin otherwise. The card is made by the Mai Vietnamese Handicrafts, a nonprofit organization that provides income generation and marketing services to Vietnamese artisans
Card size | 5.00″ x 6.75″
Price | $9.99
Brand ethics | Handmade, supporting women artisans in Vietnam, Fair Trade, recycled and renewable materials
About Ten Thousand Villages | Ten Thousand Villages is a nonprofit fair trade organization that sells handcrafted products made by disadvantaged artisans around the world. The name was inspired by Gandhi's quote because in every village there are people who want to live a meaningful life. That’s why it places locally sourced, recycled and renewable materials and ethical production at the core of its values.
Customer reviews | “I love the idea behind ten thousand villages. The handmade items support local communities, usually from impoverished 3rd world countries, victims of sex trafficking, fair trade, etc”- J. from Yelp

Shop now at Ten Thousand Villages

The 5 Things to Check When Purchasing a Christmas Card

  1. Tree logos: Make sure your cards are made of recycled paper to support trees' life cycle of creating shade, producing fresh air and absorbing greenhouse gases. Ideally, you can look for cards that are made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper that doesn't require cutting down any trees. And don’t forget about the envelopes - they’re also mainly made of paper, so better look for recycled options too. In case you want to take it one step further, check out if your card will be delivered in any extra packaging. Is it really necessary?
  2. Production: Local production, in-studio printing, the use of renewable energy are also quite important details to check before choosing your greeting cards.
  3. Carbon offsets: It’s almost impossible to avoid it if you’re planning to mail your cards to another country or even to a distant recipient in the U.S. That’s why we strongly recommend you to send cards to destinations that are reachable by train or opt for creative and designful digital Christmas cards.
  4. Low impact inks: Conventional inks consist of mineral-based oils with pigments containing metals. That means that the oils and pigments are non-biodegradable and so contribute towards environmental pollution. However, replacing those with eco-friendly inks made from natural vegetable oils is not that hard, since you can find some eco-conscious ink retailers on the market. For instance, soy-based inks reduce air pollution during production, are easily removable during the recycling process and soy is a renewable source.
  5. Donations: Opt for brands that donate or plant a tree with every order.

Frequently Asked Questions About Holiday Cards

Are Christmas Cards Still Popular?

Apparently, Christmas greeting cards still remain a pretty popular tradition. A survey conducted by Statista showed the likelihood of purchasing a greeting card as part of holiday gift shopping in the U.S. for the year 2020. 72% of the people answered positively, saying that it’s completely/very or moderately likely that they’ll buy cards this year.

Statista graph with data on how likely people are to buy a Christmas greeting card
Likelihood of purchasing a greeting card as part of holiday gift shopping U.S. 2020, Statista

It seems that the idea of a physical object with a personal sentiment is still appealing to many people from different age groups. The joy of picking out cards is still less likely to be replaced by digital versions and that’s one more reason why this blog post is trying to give you the inspiration to replace paper-based cards with eco alternatives.

What Should I Do With Old Greeting Cards?

In case your old greeting cards are made from recyclable materials, you can recycle them in the blue bin. Alternatively, you can easily repurpose them into tags or cut the card in half and reuse the blank side.

What to Write in Christmas Cards?

The traditional greeting cards include warm wishes, such as "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" but there are countless variations you can choose to express your feelings, your religious sentiment or willingness to simply spread love to the people you care about. No matter how creative a writer you are, just remember to write it from the heart, and keep it short and sweet. There are also plenty of Christmas wishes examples and templates to get inspired from.

When to Send Christmas Cards?

Whether you're sending regular printed greeting cards or personalized ones, you always have to estimate the arrival date of your card with unexpected delays in mind. During the holidays, the typical delivery time slows down to around 2-3 weeks, so make sure that you purchase your cards at the end of November and mail them to the recipients within the first week of December (ideally between the 29th of November until the 5th of December 2021). This will give them plenty of time to arrive by Christmas and you will avoid stressful moments.

Keep in mind that digital Christmas cards require a lot less planning -and thus a lot less stress since all you have to do is just click the send button one day before. You will save time, money from purchasing envelopes and postage and certainly some trees!

Who to Send Christmas Cards To?

First thing you have to do is list the people you want to send cards to. Consider family members, close friends, neighbors, clients or colleagues and think also about senior people that will definitely be grateful and delighted to receive something from you.

How Christmas Cards Tradition Started?

Did you know that Christmas greetings have been sent since 1843? The tradition of sending Christmas cards, as we know it today, started in the UK in 1843 by a senior civil servant, Sir Henry Cole, who started designing and selling Christmas cards. 

Christmas Cards appeared in the U.S. in the late 1840s but most people could not afford them until their mass production started in 1875. Since then, sending Christmas cards has been strictly connected with Christmas time as a way to send our greetings and wishes to the people we love.

 

It's more urgent now than ever to find greener versions to replace traditional paper that has a smaller carbon footprint and overall environmental impact. This year you can find unique cards that are lovingly made from the most natural and eco-friendly materials to:

  • Send your warmest Christmas wishes to the people you love
  • Make a meaningful statement about the environmental crisis
  • Show your creative and restless spirit for finding items that are incomparably outstanding
  • Support talented artisans or retailers that are putting real effort into making their industry more sustainable

Merry Christmas! xoxo